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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

How Do You Make Your Mountains Majestic?

'Evening Comes to the Fjords'                9x12            pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available $175

As we slipped silently through the narrow passage in the fjords I was in awe. We sat in the observation lounge of the ship which had panoramic floor to ceiling windows at the bow of the ship. It was the best place to be.... out of the biting wind with the ability to see the majestic snow covered mountains unfold in front of us. We sailed so close to the steep slopes that we could almost touch the waterfalls as they tumbled down the sheer cliffs. 

How would I ever capture this majesty in a painting?!

The observation lounge was the best spot on the ship

When I got home one of the first images I wanted to paint was a view of the fjords as we sailed into the sunset. I chose a piece of 9x12 Wallis paper from my stash. I enjoyed revisiting this scene from my trip but felt the painting was lacking something. SCALE!  I wasn't getting the feeling of how high the mountains really were. I needed to show the viewer how small we were and how tall the mountains were. 

 I needed to add something for scale. I remember seeing  many little red fishing shacks and small cabins on the steep sides of the mountains. So I took out a red Nupastel and made a couple of marks at the bottom of the distant hillside. It was a very subtle mark but the small size of the 'shack marks' started to give a sense of the immenseness of the mountains. 

Next I will paint the fjords on a much larger piece of paper. That will also help show scale! Stay tuned!

Before adding the small red buildings 

A closeup of the marks used for the buildings

1 comment:

Libby Gough said...

Yes mountains are frustrating as photos never do them justice, they always look so much smaller. I live in the French Alps so I totally understand! Painting them en plein air is the only way! Thanks for all your great tips.